Thin privilege is when the doctor does not assume you are diabetic or have high-blood pressure every time you’re sick.
That isn’t thin privilege… Fatter people are more prone to having these sorts of health problems, so therefore the doctor would need to rule these things out as possible reasons for illness.
This comment is thin privilege.
The problem isn’t that doctors look at an overweight patient and see those conditions as a possibility, the problem is that they act as though those are the only possibilities. They also often see them as the most likely or only possibilities even if the symptoms don’t add up.
I went to a doctor three weeks ago, knowing the problem was my thyroid. She said it probably wasn’t and hinted that I probably have diabetes. She ran a full battery of tests. Guess what was the only thing out of whack? My thyroid. My blood sugar wasn’t even in the “pre-diabetic” range.
That is the third doctor I’ve had this experience with THIS SUMMER. One doctor just knew it could not be my thyroid and hinted that the problems would go away if I lost weight (the one who gave me too much thyroid med and put me in the hospital with afib because of it — couldn’t have me gaining weight, you know). One thought I was depressed (she decided this after looking at me and asking me one question about my sleep habits) and tried to put me on anti-depressants within 5 minutes of meeting me.
I had to pay extra for all those tests. Doctors on my insurance would not listen to me, didn’t actually address the problem — and I’m out the money for the copays. To fix the problem, I actually had to go pay out of my pocket for a doctor who is off my insurance. I’m lucky since I have good insurance and can pay this stuff, though it does drain my finances. Someone without the resources would have just been out of luck!
The entire time I was running around trying to get help, I was barely functioning. I hardly had enough energy to do my job — let alone have a life outside of it.
The assumption that we must have diseases associated with fat cost us time, money, and a great deal of frustration and heart-ache. Don’t tell me this habit is helpful or even harmless!
"[T]he number one attribute required for a fat activist to be a success is perseverance. Whether it be advocacy or teaching or writing or whatever, sticking to it is the most important action on days when I feel like I am beating my head against the wall. I have to remind myself that I make a difference. I have to remember that success is relative and that failure only comes from quitting. I get frustrated some days when I feel like the world is unchangeable, then I will find proof that together fat activists are changing the world one reader at a time. Perseverance is a requirement for the fat activist."
~Lonie McMichael, Acceptable Prejudice?
I will add that I had to learn to take breaks, though! Getting away from the madness, without quitting, is important, too.
"I do what I do – making the case for HAES in the face of almost overwhelming opposition – because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of outcome."
"Fat people, so the culture logic goes, are consumers who over-consume: the material evidence of their corpulence is ‘proof’ of this. Fat women in particular experience a double-bind in this regard: while their fatness represents an inability to exercise proper consumptive control, their status as women renders their desire for consumption taboo and potentially dangerous."
"Bodies deemed to be fat tend to be read in most Western cultures as greedy, excessive and lacking in control; therefore for a ‘fat’ woman to conform to the aesthetic ideals that lie at the core of an ‘aesthetics of existence’, she would have to radically change her body in order to be seen as ‘beautiful’."
Longhurst, R. (2014). Queering body size and shape: Performativity, the closet, shame and orientation. In C. Pausé, J. Wykes, & S. Murray (Eds). Queering Fat Embodiment (pp. 20). London: Ashgate.
Today, I’m a stop on the Queering Fat Embodiment tour! Watch for quotes throughout the day.
"So, how is the body supposed to tell between starvation and a diet? It can’t."
"for 40,000 years the primary threat to the majority of humans tended to be not getting enough to eat. In fact, this was true until the end of World War II in the United States and is still true in many Third World countries (and for some in the West as well) today. Since starvation was common, our bodies learned to hold onto weight at all costs. Any time our bodies experience lack, they learn to be more efficient in holding weight: i.e. the body that experiences lack increases the set point. Children who experience famine have very efficient bodies – bodies designed to hold onto fat. People who experience starvation repeatedly will have bodies that get better and better at holding on to fat.
So, how is the body supposed to tell between starvation and a diet? It can’t. All the body knows is that the signals (signals of hunger or craving) it is sending are being ignored. And the only way it knows to respond is as if there is a famine. It holds onto weight and creates a demand for high calorie foods. And so the diet fails for the majority of us.”
~Talking Fat, by Lonie McMichael, PhD (via loniemc)